Displaying a flag is a great way to remember a loved one who served in the military, police force, or otherwise. This honors their service, and remembers their heroism and hard work – a wonderful way to remember anyone.
At the same time though, it can also be a good way to exhibit a little patriotism, perhaps to show affection for a particular country you’ve visited, or even to denote allegiance to a particular group or organization. It also happens to be a unique and interesting form of decorating.
So the question then becomes: how do you go about displaying a flag? How do you choose the best flag cases? And what are the rules for displaying the flag correctly? This guide will explain all, and run through some of the best options available right now.
What to Look for in a Display Case for Flags
Flag cases should typically measure 5’ x 9.5’. While flag sizes can vary, this size will fit most flags when folded correctly, and particularly commemorative flags which will typically measure either 3’ x 5’, or 4’ x’ 6’.
It is very important then to ensure that you check the size of your flag before investing in the flag case.
Likewise, while the material and design of the case itself can also vary, there are some popular styles and designs. Popular options include basic pine, all the way up to ‘heirloom quality Queen Anne Hardwood’. Other options are oak, maple, cherry, and walnut.
Choosing the right flag case for your purposes is going to be at least partially a matter of knowing what your intended purpose for the flag is. Do you want this to be an heirloom you pass down? Will it be in an office that already has a lot of furniture in a certain color/type of wood? Or, is this a temporary fixture that will be used for an event or similar?
While considering these things, you should also think about where and how the flag is going to be displayed. Will this be nailed to a wall for example? Will it stand on a surface? Or will it be placed inside a cabinet? Consider the weight of the flag case and whether it will be suitable for hanging.
Most of these display cases will also come with a glass exterior, which serves the dual purpose of protecting the flag, while at the same time ensuring that it can be easily seen.
Our Top Four Choices
There are a lot of different options out there, but here are four of what we feel are the best cases that each offer a slightly different look and feel.
Cherry Triangle with Glass Design
This flag display case measures 11”x22.5”x2.5” on the interior. It is ideal for a 5’x9.5’ folded flag. It is made from a beautiful solid wood – gallery quality and none of this cheap veneer. The deep wood color goes very well with similarly colored furniture, and would work well in an office or study room.
The front is likewise glass, rather than an acrylic or plastic. It does have a hook for hanging at the back, but it also has a large flat base which is ideal for standing on any surface. It’s an ideal gift or sentimental keepsake and it has a real touch of elegance and class.
The only potential warning is that the finish is quite glossy, which gives it a slightly slippery feel. This means that there is a very slim chance of it sliding off of a surface, so it might not be a bad idea to place it on something anti-slip. The fasteners at the back work well, but may require a little force to open and close.
On the whole, this is a particularly high quality flag display case and a perfect way to display yours.
Triangle Case with Certificate & Document Holder Frame
This flag display case is also a display case for a certificate or document. This is ideal for showing certificates of appreciation, or other achievements – however it does mean that it won’t be suitable for those with only a flag to display.
The certificate also sits slightly off-center below the flag. It’s a good look, but one you should check first.
The material is premium Walnut giving it a deep brown appearance. The main display case fits a 3’x5’ flag, while the shadow box for the certificate measures 24x12x5. Adding a little packaging foam at the back can help to press the certificate right up against the glass and prevent movement.
There are also some ornate details on the case, which add visual interest and can help to accentuate the flag without distracting from it. There’s a hole on the back for hanging, and a large sturdy base if you wish to stand it on a sideboard or table.
Large Multi Use Case with Triangle
This memorial flag display case consists of a large flag case at the top, with the shadow box directly underneath with space for a certificate and medals on either side. This is made with a beautiful mahogany finish, crafted from a single piece of wood. Like others on this list, it can be placed onto a table or cabinet, or it can be hung from the wall.
The top area is suitable for a standard 5’x9.5’ flag. The bottom shadow box has space for a certificate and insignia. The overall height of the display case I 23.75”, while the width is 24.5”. This means it will take up a little more space than some of the other items on this list, and will again be suitable only for those with extras to display. That said, the versatility of the shadow box is such that you could show old photos, trinkets, and more.
If that suits your purposes, then this is a beautiful display case. Just be careful not to scratch the finish.
All Glass Triangle Display with Wood Base
This is another glass display case for a flag which once again fits a standard 5×9.5’ flag. Unlike others on the list however, this only features a small amount of wood at the bottom, with the rest of the case being entirely made of glass. The glass is 99% UV protected, meaning that the flag shouldn’t fade over time, and this means you can see it from any angle.
It’s worth noting however that the glass does not fix to the base in any way. It is important then to keep it out of reach and to be careful when handling.
Rules and Etiquette When Displaying a Flag
Displaying a flag is unlike displaying a favorite photo or piece of art. This is a significant cultural and historical symbol, and one that people feel very strongly about. Therefore, there are a number of rules and etiquette considerations to take into account if you wish to avoid offense and present the flag the ‘right way’.
Most of these rules however will apply specifically to displaying the flags on a mast, or during public speaking. For instance, no flag should be placed above the US flag if you are in the US. When on the same halyard, flags should always be positioned below the US flag.
What may apply with regards to flag cases, is that the union should be uppermost and to the right of the flag (left to the observer).
When placing the flag in a display case, there is also a correct way to fold. Did you know that letting the flag touch the ground is a sign of disrespect against the flag? While folding, you should work with a partner or use a raised surface to keep it elevated. You should also keep it facing upward, with the blue at the top. Fold the flag so that the bottom stripes are over the field of stars, bringing the bottom edge up to align with the top edge.
Now bring the folded edge up to the top edge, creating a second fold. The field of stars will be visible on both sides of the flag now. The stars should be on the left when looking at the flag from either side.
Now you’ll create a triangle by folding the striped corner up to the top edge. Fold it back down again and you’ll see it looks like a triangle. Repeat this process along the length of the flag. You’ll be left with an entirely blue equilateral triangle.
Any of these flag cases will provide a beautiful way to remember a loved one, or show your patriotism loud and proud. These are beautifully made and do justice to any flag or memorabilia placed inside. Now you understand how to properly display a flag and what features to look for, you should also be able to continue the search if you should find that none of these are fit for your purposes.